Apartment Complex – Continuous
“Who are you?” the demon asked, still holding his crossbow on Shannon. “What do you want?”
“Mr. Klack’narg?” Dawn asked, producing her badge.
“Mr. Anderson…my name is Mr. Anderson,” he hastily responded. “There’s no Klack’narg here.”
“Sir, we’re with The Watchers Council. Could we please just put down the weapons and have a moment of your time?” Dawn asked. Dawn reached up and gently pushed Shannon’s hand down to lower the slayer’s weapon. The gesture seemed to relax him. “We’re not going to hurt you,” Dawn continued.
“Unless you give us a reason,” Shannon added.
“Shannon, please. No spur jingling right now,” Dawn remarked, before turning back to the demon. “Please let us in.”
The demon nodded and they entered his apartment, squeezing past the door as he held it open for them. Mr. Klack’narg hugged the wall as Shannon waltzed past him. Once they were inside, he locked the security gate and then closed the front door, sliding bolts and chains and turning the key to lock the door once again.
Mr. Klack’narg turned to the two who now stood inside the doorway of his living room, “Pl…please make yourself at home…I’ll just be a moment. I need to talk to my wife,” he said as he walked past them up the hall.
Something caught Shannon’s eye as she walked into the living room. On top of the mantelpiece were several pictures of Mr. Klack’narg and what appeared to be his family.
One photo showed a young demon boy blowing out the candles on his cake. Another picture captured Mr. Klack’narg and, presumably, his wife in an embrace as their lips pressed together. In the center of the mantelpiece was a family portrait with each of them smartly dressed in front of a homely backdrop. Mr. Klack’narg had his arm on his son’s shoulder and his daughter was sitting on the mother’s lap, with her arms wrapped around her waist.
Shannon’s curious hand slowly reached out to the family picture, but then curled up into a ball mere centimeters from the frame.
“He has a family,” she said, flicking her hair over her shoulder to look back at Dawn.
Dawn stared at Shannon and then turned to peer up the hall in the direction of Mr. Klack’narg’s voice.
He stood at a half open door at the end of the hall. From what was visible, it looked like a child’s room.
“Don’t worry, it’s okay. They’re from the Watchers Council,” he tried to calm whoever was in the room.
Shannon crossed the living room to stand by Dawn and look up the hallway with her.
A raised voice, mildly subdued by the half-closed door replied. “It’s not okay! It’s not okay! What do you think they’re gonna…”
“Seera, it’s going to be fine. I promise you.” He sounded calmingly resolute. “Now stay in here with the spawn and put a DVD on, okay?”
“I love you, Daddy,” a small child’s voice spoke.
“I love you too. All of you,” he replied. A little boy and girl ran into his arms when he bent down to them. “Now go on.”
Dawn and Shannon took a quick step back into the living room to avoid being seen eavesdropping.
After the sound of the door closing, Mr. Klack’narg appeared at the living room door a moment later. He shifted about uncomfortably as he looked at the two Council members standing in his home.
“My family…please don’t hurt them,” he pleaded.
“Mr. Klack’narg, we’re not here to hurt you or your family. Why would you think that?” Dawn asked.
“Why wouldn’t I?” he bluntly answered.
“I don’t think I understand,” Dawn said.
“The way the world is now…we’re not allowed to live. We…we get attacked, we get killed, and we’ve got no authority to call…no police. They come, and when they find out who we are, they…” Mr. Klack’narg trailed off, then offered his hand, pointing to seats for Dawn and Shannon.
“They what?” Shannon pried.
“Shannon,” Dawn warned, shaking her head. “Mr. Klack’narg, we’re not here to…we’re here as part of an investigation into the murder…”
“I didn’t hurt anyone…”
“Sir, we’re not saying that you did.” Dawn told him, almost begging for him to believe her. “Why do you think we’re here? To take you away?”
“Because that’s how it goes. There’s a death and we get the finger pointed at us. Just because of the way we look,” Mr. Klack’narg said.
“Our investigation is into the death of a demon. A demon that looked human,” Shannon put forward.
Mr. Klack’narg looked up in concern.
“Oh no,” he put his head in his hands, “please no.” He looked up, his greenish eyes now with a glassy tint. “That was my last chance.”
“The surgery? Dr. Colton’s practice?” Shannon asked.
“Why is it your last chance?” Dawn asked.
“Because of the way the world is nowadays. Usually people just thought I was part of some sci-fi convention or something, but now…now that everyone knows that demons and magic and the supernatural exist, they go looking for us. Over the last couple of weeks, it’s more than just stares.”
Arms folded across her chest, Dawn sat up and leaned in. “How so?”
“Families have been driven out by mobs of humans, some have even been killed. Families beaten and burned in some kind of savage attack. And they say we’re the evil ones?” he took in a deep breath, his eyes moving over to the mantelpiece.
Dawn and Shannon exchanged a glance.
Mr. Klack’narg continued. “I worked in the back of a stripper joint cooking the fried chicken. Not the model job that I want my spawn to look up to, but it’s the best I can do.” He looked down to the back of his scaly, claw-like hands. He then turned them over to look at his palms. “Then the health inspector decided to make a surprise call. I’d been told to be real careful and hide when they come knocking, but a few weeks ago, they caught me and the manager was forced to fire me on the spot.” His eyes began to well up, tears burning behind his jade hued eyes. “I looked for other work in the backs of shops, warehouses, down at the docks. Most of the demon bars in town are already filled, and that’s if they’re still open. Then things got worse. I heard stories from friends of demons being killed on sight. Families being murdered. And all for no other reason than they looked demon…I just want to look like you so I can work for a living, so I can provide for my family, so I can keep them safe. That’s all. But now, now that people know about the Clinic, it’s over.”
Dawn looked to Shannon and pointed to the yellow post-it in her hand. Shannon handed it over and Dawn crushed it into a small crumpled up ball that she put in her handbag. “Sir, I won’t lie to you. We’re here because Dr. Colton referred us to you,” Mr. Klack’narg sat forward. “He flagged you because of the way you were acting during a consultation.”
“He said you were skittish,” Shannon helped Dawn get her words out.
“Thank you Shannon,” Dawn replied, though her tone made clear she was anything but thankful. “But I see why you’re anxious.” Mr. Klack’narg nodded in agreement.
“I’m sorry if I’ve wasted your time,” he meekly added.
“Not at all. I’ll be putting my recommendation to Dr. Colton personally for you to go ahead with surgery,” Dawn finished.
“But…the murder…If I do the same thing…” Mr. Klack’narg stuttered.
“Our partnership with Dr. Colton also includes providing protection for those demons that have the surgery,” Dawn answered. “It’s probably a good idea that you wait it out, though, until we have control of the situation,” Dawn put forward, “just until our investigation is over. If it’s food you need, I’ll arrange for a delivery for you and your family later today.”
“Th…,” Mr. Klack’narg took a long breath, “thank you. There’s just one thing though.”
“Shoot,” Dawn asked.
“Why are you doing this? Helping us, helping me?” Mr. Klack’narg said, with a degree of uncertainty in his voice.
“Because you’re the victims,” Dawn added.
“Well, if the Council needs anything…” Mr. Klack’narg began.
“There is something,” Dawn replied, as she handed him a business card.
“Anything,” he answered.
Dawn grinned. “Don’t give up hope of living a decent life, and don’t sacrifice your virtues. Things are difficult for you, but…maybe with time and a little understanding your kids won’t have to change who they are to survive. Like I said…have faith, okay? We’re trying to make things better for everyone, for good humans and demons alike.”
Mr. Klack’narg grinned back and looked at the card. “I certainly will, Miss Summers…Summers? Are you related to…”
“Buffy’s my sister,” Dawn answered. “My sister. My boss. My agony, sometimes…but I wouldn’t trade her for anything. I understand how important family is, too.” She started to grin. “We’ll be in touch shortly, as I said.”
Watchers Council – Buffy’s Office – Later that Day
“So that’s all you’ve got?” Buffy asked from behind her desk.
“That’s all?” Dawn said indignantly. “It’s pretty darn good, if you ask me.” She then quietly grumbled, “My agony.”
“No, this is great,” Buffy added. “I just meant, you don’t need anything else?”
“Oh no,” Dawn answered apologetically. “Just see to those requests and we’re good to go,” she added as she rose.
“Off to see your dead honey?” Buffy asked.
Dawn rolled her eyes. “She’s not my honey, but yes, I thought I’d stop by Skye’s place. You know, it’s been three months and Willow’s spell is obviously working – no dead bodies turning up and no Skye going poof…I don’t think you’re giving her enough credit.”
“I worry about you,” Buffy said gently.
“Been there, done that?”
“Got the T-shirt, too,” Buffy remarked. “Which is why I worry…Don’t make the same mistakes I’ve made, is all.”
“Like I said, she’s not my honey, but –”
“See? It’s the ‘but’ that scares me,” Buffy remarked.
“She gets it, Buffy,” Dawn answered. “She knows what it’s like knowing she’s never going to die.”
“Never say never,” Buffy replied. “If I find out she so much as thinks of hurting anyone, she’s dust. You can hate me if you want if that day comes-”
“I wouldn’t hate you, Buffy. Everyone deserves a second chance, and Skye knows she’s got it right now. She won’t be a problem. I promise.”
“I pray you’re right,” Buffy answered, “for everyone’s sake.”
Watchers Council – Skye’s Dorm Room – Moments Later
Skye sat on her bed, reading a magazine. She picked up a glass filled with blood and was about to bring it to her lips when there was a knock at the door. Putting the glass and the magazine aside, she got up, asking, “Who is it?”
“It’s Dawn,” she heard from the other side.
She carefully unlocked and opened the door. She peeked around the corner before opening it more fully.
“Just me,” Dawn replied, noticing the vampire’s nervousness.
“Hey you,” Skye greeted her. “I’m never sure who’s on the other side. I’ve got quite a few slayers gunning for me, can’t say I blame them. Come on in.”
“I can’t,” Dawn shrugged. “Council rules, remember?”
“Sorry, force of habit,” Skye replied, and she continued to stand on the other side of the door. “What brings you by today?”
“Just thought I’d check up on you,” Dawn answered. “See how you’re doing, if you needed anything.”
“I’m good,” Skye replied. There was a bit of an awkward silence for a moment. “Hey, have you had lunch?” she asked.
“Not yet,” Dawn answered. “Did you want to go grab a bite?” Dawn closed her eyes briefly. “Sorry, poor choice of words.”
Skye grinned. “Let me grab my keys.”
East 79th Street – Evening
Kennedy, Faith, Marie, Chamique and Denise stalked down a back alley, eerily suspended in the twilight as the clouds above grew thicker and darker. The faint glow from old outdoor bulbs shed some weak light in their direction.
Marie pulled her khaki bomber jacket around her as a whispering wind blew, casually picking up the stray garbage on the cold concrete pavement, leaving a trail of dust and dirt in its wake.
She shivered. “Damn, I think we’re due for a storm.”
“Aw, man! Now why the hell did you have to say that?” Chamique barked at Marie, not looking too pleased.
Caught rather off guard, Marie cocked a brow and pointed to the sky, “‘Cus it looks like it might rain? Big black clouds usually mean that?”
“That or it’s about to snow,” Kennedy added.
“Last time it snowed, I died,” Faith said absently, and then glanced over to Kennedy with the slightest of weak grins. “So I’m in Cham’s camp for not being a lover of snow.”
“That, and the world nearly ended,” Denise butted in, looking a little out of place once she spoke.
“Yeah, that too,” Faith chuckled, nudging the younger slayer with her elbow.
Chamique gritted her teeth, still annoyed. “That’s it! You’ve gone and jinxed it now, both of you! Thank you very much!” she spat out, adding extra enunciation to her words.
Kennedy turned towards Chamique. “What’s your problem? You gone all Wicked Witch of the West on us all of a sudden?”
Hand firmly on hip, Chamique replied. “Yes!” much to the others’ surprise. “Well no,” she quickly added, rolling her eyes. “I did my hair before we left, and by God, I still want bounce and volume when I get back!”
Denise stifled a laugh. “Gussying up to play cards with us later? Or have you got some hot date tonight you haven’t told us about?”
A grin began to creep across Chamique’s face. “Maybe…”
“Shut up!” Marie exclaimed. “Since when?”
“Who’s the lucky guy?” Denise asked with a sweet smile.
“Or gal?” Kennedy looked over her shoulder, giving a wink.
Chamique blushed. “No, not a gal. Jonathan.”
“The guy who works shop with Xander?” Faith added, sounding a little surprised. “The one who…”
Both Kennedy’s and Faith’s radios began to beep, interrupting the girl talk. Simultaneously, they reached for their respective radios, then stalled at seeing each other’s actions.
Faith put her hands up. “It’s your patrol. I’m just taggin’.”
Kennedy shared a smile and then reached for her radio. “Dispatch. Patrol one,” Kennedy said.
Releasing the transmit trigger, a female voice replied, in perfect digital clarity, “Civil unrest in and around Lexington, Reports of arson and vandalism. Patrols five and eleven en route.”
Kennedy looked to Faith. “Lexington. That’s –”
“A couple blocks over,” Faith answered.
Kennedy pressed down on the trigger. “Dispatch. Patrol one en route now. ETA three minutes.” Holstering the radio. She turned to Faith and her team. “C’mon girls, double time.”
With the order given, the slayers took off and raced down the alley, skidding as they turned a corner and quickly picking up pace once they were on the straightaway.
Lexington Avenue – Moments Later
A fiery, orange-red hue painted the street in a new light, turning the otherwise ordinary city street into a hellish locale. One house amongst all the others was set ablaze. Flames lashed from buckled glass windows, scorching plants and the paint work.
A mob of about ten men, all suited in army surplus gear and wearing balaclavas, wielded an array of weapons, ranging from machetes to crowbars to handguns. Two of the men continued to lob Molotov cocktails into the shattered windows and front entrance, where the beaten down door now lay on the carpet.
Distant sounds of police sirens and fire engines were all but drowned out by the violent shouting from the mob, as they seemed to tauntingly celebrate in their destruction.
The slayers turned the corner at the far end of the street, stopping momentarily in awe at the sight of the burning house.
“Jesus,” Kennedy exclaimed.
Faith shot a look at Kennedy, who was still staring at the burning house. “Let’s leave him outta this please?” she said uncomfortably.
Kennedy glanced back at Faith, her attention and focus on the matter at hand leaving her perplexed by Faith’s comment. “Umm…okay girls, you know the drill – civilians. Restrain and, if need be, hand-to-hand, but remember to hold back.” Looking at Faith, she smiled. “I don’t have to tell you.”
“Nah, I’m good. Benefit of being a former hellion, you know how to handle these situations,” Faith half-joked.
Kennedy checked out her girls and, with a nod, she gave the command. “Okay, now go!” The slayers split, racing down the street and into the fray.
One of the men took his handgun and started to randomly fire into the house. He let out a psychotic “woo,” waving his gun in the air like a madman. As he spun around on the spot, his cheery demeanor instantly vanished when he saw the five women running over to them.
“SLAYERS!” he belted at the top of his voice, immediately commanding the others’ attention.
Some of the men started to retreat, hightailing it in the opposite direction, whereas some of the stronger men stayed behind, as if to give the others a chance to escape.
The men holding the Molotov cocktails turned and chucked the lethal glass bombs at the slayers. One of the bombs landed mere feet from Denise, spewing flames and glass in her direction. Narrowly avoiding the burst, she jumped up onto the back of a car, then used the added height to vault further away before the flames worked their way under the car and ignited the vehicle.
Chamique was on the case of one heavily built man who towered over the slim, athletic girl. She flung her curled up fist into his muscle-packed stomach, sending him stumbling back. He quickly regained his footing and swung at Chamique. The slayer used the tight space to dive out of the way to his left, where her leg sprung out and her sneaker thrust into his side.
As Chamique got to her feet and readied her stance, another man behind her kicked her in the back of her knee, which caused her to fall forward, where the heavily built man forced the metal prods of a hand taser into her neck.
Marie landed back on her feet after dealing a roundhouse kick to another man. Shooting a glance over her shoulder, she saw Chamique convulsing from the electric current continuing to course through her body.
“Chamique!” she cried out, then began to run to her fellow slayer. Mid-run, two more metal clips latched onto Marie’s back and she fell hard to the pavement, violent shaking. Nearby, a man holding a taser gun continued to press down the trigger. The wires sparked with small bursts of electricity.
Faith countered all of the blows that she was dealt, and when the opportunity arose, she slammed her palm into one of the men’s chest, swiftly followed by another palm blast to his face.
Kennedy backhanded one of the men, and as he veered back she grabbed his arm, twisting it up and behind his back. She reached to her belt and snapped a pair of handcuffs over one of his wrists, and then the other.
Throwing the handcuffed man to the ground, she turned and took the brunt of a hard-hitting punch square in the face from someone else. Kennedy fell back against the fence, her hand instinctively reaching up to her nose. Her eyes brimming with anger, she looked at the man, jumped up into the air and thrust her feet into his chest. The man went flying back into a car.
“So much for care in the community, huh?” she spat.
Another man tried to punch her, but she caught his extended arm and swung him around into the fence, and on the rebound she punched him in the face.
Two other men jumped Kennedy as she reached for another pair of handcuffs. They grabbed onto her arms, but despite their very large muscles, Kennedy managed to throw them both off.
Faith locked her hands around a steel pole that was inbound on a collision course with her face. She whipped the pole out of her attacker’s grasp and hurled the implement behind her, where it hit another man who was about to strike. Faith grabbed the man in front of her, spun him around, pushed him up against a car and reached for her handcuffs.
A scream filled the air when taser clips punctured Kennedy’s neck and brought her to her knees, the electricity overwhelming her. As things went dark before her eyes, Kennedy collapsed to the asphalt.
“Ken!” Faith called out. She slammed the handcuffed man’s head down onto the hood of the car, then turned to apprehend the men who had assaulted Kennedy when she heard Chamique cry out, as well.
Caught off guard, Faith could not prevent a crowbar smashing her in the back of the head, and she stumbled forward.
She turned to see the large man that had tasered Chamique. “Dude, you’re gonna regret that.”
Faith moved forward and swung at his head, but he ducked and countered by slamming his hand taser into her arm. He shut off the taser and smacked her square in the jaw while she was stunned, and before she could raise her fists, he shoved the taser into her chest until her eyes shut and she fell to the road.
The man grinned and spat on her unconscious body. “Bitch. C’mon boys, let’s get outta here before the cavalry arrives. We’ve had our fun for today.”
Denise began to stir, lifting her head up off of the lawn of one of the houses next door. Her vision was blurred, but things were coming back into focus. She saw a bunch of burly men fleeing from the scene. Carefully, she picked herself up, holding her head where she had knocked it on the hard turf.
“Ken…Kennedy?” Denise called out, her voice wavering.
She managed to get to her feet, and after blinking away the dancing spots in front of her eyes, she saw Kennedy, Faith, Marie and Chamique sprawled out across the road.
Denise’s eyes widened in horror and she struggled to form words.
“Oh God…oh God!” She raced over to Kennedy, dropping to her knees and skidding across the tarmac. She was about to press her fingers against Kennedy’s neck when she saw the puncture marks. Squirming, she checked for her pulse and let out a cry of relief when she felt Kennedy’s heartbeat under her fingers.
Kennedy’s eyes flickered for a moment, then opened. She groaned.
“Ken! What happened?” Denise asked.
“Those sons of bitches juiced us,” Kennedy replied, as she slowly got to her feet.
Watchers Council – Front Steps – Hours Later
Jim Pollan and a group of reporters stood on the front steps of the new Council headquarters.
“Can you tell us how many men were present?” a reporter asked.
“Around ten, according to our slayer report,” Jim replied.
“Was Faith or any of the other girls on the patrol injured or killed?” another asked.
“No, not seriously,” he answered.
“How did these men manage to escape the patrol?” yet another reporter asked.
“It’s still under investigation,” he replied. “We’ll have more details in the morning.”
“Were any of the attackers injured or killed?” the first reporter asked again.
“We believe a few of them sustained injuries in the melee, but we can’t verify the extent at this time. Now as I said, we’ll issue a full statement in the morning briefing, so we’ll answer any further questions at that time,” he replied, before making his way back inside. “Good night everyone.” Although another series of questions followed, Jim ignored them and continued inside.
Watchers Council – Willow and Rowena’s Apartment – Moments Later
Willow moved back from the window where she had stood looking down. “I think the reporters are finally clearing out,” she said softly.
Rowena was sitting in a chair and looking at a book. She yawned, which made Willow look over.
“Can I ask a question?” the priestess asked.
“When do you sleep?” she began as she walked over. Rowena gave her a small grin. “I’m serious,” Willow continued. “Every night and morning since the attack, I wake up alone, and aside from the Jim/PJ incident, I haven’t seen you sleep…so…like I said…”
“It’s true I haven’t been sleeping well…Side effect of realizing that I probably killed hundreds of thousands of people because of a spell I did to save them.”
“You did what you thought was right,” Willow replied.
Rowena shrugged. “It’s…more than that, though.”
“More?” Willow asked. Rowena nodded, but didn’t continue. “What else is bothering you?”
Rowena bit her bottom lip and then sighed. “I lost my faith in you during the battle. I didn’t trust you.”
Willow opened her mouth, but said nothing.
“Lucifer asked me to make a deal,” Rowena continued softly.
Watchers Council – War Room – Day
“A deal?” Rowena asked.
Lucifer, in the form of Giles, nodded to her and then thrust his chin toward the television sets that were playing the worldwide destruction on their various screens.
“I can snap my fingers, and this can all end. The earth will be saved. I might lose a large portion of my army, but you’d be worth the price. All I ask is that you fill a…recently vacated position. So, what do you say? Join me and save humanity? One soul for millions, perhaps billions of people? It’s a small price to pay, wouldn’t you say?”
Rowena didn’t answer, instead continuing to look at the television screens.
“And if I refuse?” Rowena asked the Giles figure before her.
“You’re a smart woman, Ms. Allister. You know what’s at stake. Look,” he said, pointing to a television set. “You have the power to stop it – right here, right now. As for what happens to you…let’s just say I’ll probably be seeing you soon anyway. At least with my deal, you’ll have a cushy position and be the savior of the world.”
Rowena still appeared to be considering it, then began to grin.
“So,” the figure of Giles continued, beginning to smile himself. “Does that mean you accept?”
Rowena’s grin became a full-blown smile. “Since you put it that way…no.”
The grin that had come to Giles’s face slipped away. “But look –” he tried to say, pointing at the televisions again.
“I see it,” Rowena answered. “But I was trained to believe none of what I hear and half of what I see. As you pointed out, I’m a smart woman. And the only reason you’re making me this offer is that I’m dangerous to you. You need me on your side, which is just one reason why I’m refusing. Besides, I think I’ll put my trust in Willow to handle this. So if you’ll excuse me…” she said, walking past him.
“I’m warning you,” he told her. “I’m in everything you do, everything you are.”
Rowena nodded. “So’s your counterpart,” she retorted. “And I’m hoping they’ll have mercy on my soul when my judgment comes.”
“You’re willing to take that chance? That your sins will be overlooked and that witch of yours can pull this off?”
“That I am,” Rowena answered firmly. “And when I die, even if it’s when I walk out this door, I hope my God realizes I’ve done my level best to keep you at bay and stay on a righteous path. So until that day comes…send Dr. Wagner my sympathies.”
Willow and Rowena’s Living Room – Present Day
“So I told him no,” Rowena explained, “but I had my doubts. Even if only for a few moments…I didn’t know if you could pull it off.”
“Oh Rowena,” Willow sighed. “I didn’t even know if I could pull it off, a-and you made the right choice in the end.”
“It’s the in-between time that bothers me, Will. My faith in you, like my love, should be unconditional…But I really thought about taking the deal.”
Willow gave her a sympathetic look and motioned Rowena over to her. She pulled her into her arms and the two cuddled up together.
“The reason you thought about doing it is because you care about the world. Being a watcher isn’t just about overseeing a slayer, but also all of humanity. You were doing what comes naturally to you. In the same situation, I can’t say that anyone, including me, wouldn’t have given it serious consideration, so please…stop beating yourself up a-and get some rest from now on, okay?”
Rowena simply rested her head on Willow’s shoulder and smiled. “Okay,” she agreed softly.
House – Darkened Room – Later that Night
The air was thick with cigarette smoke lingering in the windowless room. Spread out and stuck to the wall by tacks were maps of Cleveland, varying from an overall, less detailed map to precise maps accurately showing each street and back alley of the city. Certain areas of the maps had pins stuck into them, most likely targets. What was dubious was whether they were past targets or future ones.
Beer cans littered the countertops and the carpet.
Racks of guns – 9mm handguns, shotguns, assault rifles, taser – sat at the back of the room next to a steel cabinet, which housed balaclavas, masks, leather gloves, jackets, baseball bats and machetes.
Six men were spread around the room, sitting on couches and chairs quietly talking or sharing banter with the occasional deep hearted laugh. Over in the farthest corner of the room, wisps of thick smoke danced in the air from the burning end of a cigar. The figure of whoever was sitting in the corner was cloaked by the shadows. The only noticeable feature of the person was from the slight gleam of light reflecting off of a pair of Italian leather shoes – a far cry from the army surplus boots that the others in the room wore.
Another man entered the room with a cell phone in his hand. He walked over to one of the maps and took a red pin out of an empty glass jar and pushed it into Union Avenue.
“Another one, Logan?” asked one of the men who leered over with a beer can in his hand.
Logan crossed his arms, a proud look appearing on his face. “Yep Paul, another one. I just got off the phone with Tony. He bagged an impostor family over on Union Avenue. Filthy bastards. Said they even had a white picket fence.”
“Scum,” Paul replied.
“He beat the demon mother to death with a stake,” Logan added, making the other man chuckle.
“Damn, what a way to go…death by fence,” Paul deadpanned.
The LCD screen on Logan’s cell phone began to flash and the ringtone played.
“Yeah,” he said, flipping the phone open and placing it to his ear. Intently listening to the caller, he turned and walked away from Paul to the boarded up window. Logan peered out to the street through the gaps in the wooden beams. “Yeah…got it.” He flipped his phone shut. “Okay listen up everybody! That was Danny. He’s just located three impersonators, all within a four-block radius.”
Logan walked over to the metal cabinet and took out a pair of leather gloves.
“Logan, you sure?” Paul asked, receiving a slight glare from Logan. “The whole team?”
“Three impersonators within four blocks, possibly each with families. If we only go after one, the others might catch wind and tail it. We all go in, we get ’em all in one hit.” Logan grabbed his dark green bomber jacket, putting it on and zipping it straight to the neck, then reached over for a balaclava.
It was then that the sound of another ringtone echoed throughout the room, emanating from the shadowed corner. The sound rendered the men idle as they turned to face the shadows.
“Go ahead,” an old, hoarse male English voice spoke.
Moments passed with nothing said, and the silence and the tension grew graver.
“Very well,” the voice replied, before ending the call.
With a creak in his knees and a slight groan, the man stood upright and walked out of the shadows, revealing himself as James Tyrell.
“Cancel your plans tonight, gentlemen, and get some rest. You’ll go out tomorrow instead.”
“But…” Logan began.
“My associates have good news. They’ve found the Clinic,” Tyrell told Logan and his men.
A cold, merciless grin began to creep over Logan’s face.
“Looks like we have a change of plans.”
End of Act Three